With more than 145 different languages spoken, along with a large immigrant and refugee population, Houston is currently the most diverse city in the United States. At the same time, the poverty rate in the city is on the rise, particularly in the suburbs. The annual Kinder Houston Area Survey recently found that poverty is shifting from the areas confined to the core of the city to areas that used to be considered middle class.
These trends are reflected in the city’s education system: 79 percent of Houston Independent School District students are low-income and nearly one-third are English Language Learners. These numbers are also comparable in some surrounding districts like Alief and Aldine. In addition, many of Houston’s most vulnerable students have multiple risk factors standing in the way of their success.
Given these challenges, how do schools and other programs support the most at-risk students to ensure they are on a path to success? At the same time, how do they put the latest research on how to best serve these students into practice? This discussion will focus on best practices for supporting all students, regardless of race, background, immigration status, and socioeconomic status.
The panel discussion will be moderated by NBC News Chief Education Correspondent Rehema Ellis, and joined by panelists:
- Rick Cruz - Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, Houston Independent School District
- Diana Del Pilar - Principal, Avalos P-TECH High School
- Dr. Bob Sanborn – CEO, Children at Risk
- Ruth Lopez Turley - Director, Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC) at Rice University
This discussion will be featured in the “NBC News Learn Presents: Education Now” live event in Houston, TX on September 24. The full event will be live-streamed here -- stay tuned for updates.